Epiphany Set

The head nun gave us two things: ‘You are a

good person’, and ‘It’s just a statue’.

There’s no wavering when you get it from

an expert. Hope borrowed from her jumps

into you. We lesbian rurals start

our 21st family year knit up tight

together. If, when, how will we marry?

We wait, we hope. We age and watch justice

like the rocky hills outside our home, cold

around us. Every day we hold to our

vows, each one a bead held by knobbed fingers.

Come down, search the cellar for that speckled

carton, stored last winter. Remember now

the lid’s thick texture that prickles like a

chalkboard fingernail’s brush. Searching is a

duty; a willing chance to stand among

remnants of our farmily’s subterrain: shut

cameras, darkroom leavings, and thin pressed stacks

of jumbo magazines; curling tempras,

a canvas buggy, a kite trailing strings

of dormant lights, the box. Nothing rattles,

all figures keep safe in brown paper towelings.

These Epiphany actors swaddle together,

at tallest four fingers: (1) Infant in

manger, (1) Mary, (1) Joseph, Wise Men

(3), and Lesbians (2) with linked arms who

bear gifts. All pressed into forms of mud

clay tactile with their fine grit. Wardrobe mixes

cassocks and casques, beards and bobbed hair, The A.D.

and this a.d. together around the

Infant, His arms akimbo in welcome

from the unfired pottery straw. We are sturdy

nomads who find places in the gathering with our gifts.